MANSFIELD, Conn. – The Little East Conference baseball season got off to a rough start for Plymouth State College Saturday as the Panthers were handed a pair of 9-2 defeats by defending LEC and NCAA Division III national champion Eastern Connecticut State University.
The losses drop PSC to 4-8-1 overall (0-2 in the LEC), while the Warriors improve to 8-7 overall (2-0 LEC).
ECSU jumped on PSC starter Adam DeChristopher (Brockton, Mass.) for 10 hits and eight runs (six earned) in seven-and-a-third innings, scoring a pair of runs in the first inning and adding five more in the second. Senior Lance Podlesney (Marlboro, MA) had a two-run homer in the third for the winners, his first of the year, and classmate Adam Murphy (Lebanon, NH) pitched a complete game to pick up the victory (1-2).
The Panthers got their only runs in the fifth inning on a two-run clout by senior catcher Mike Ryan (West Roxbury, MA), his first of the season.
Senior Ben DuBois (Franklin, NH) kept the Panthers in the second game for a while, blanking the Warriors over the first three innings, but ECSU scored once in the fourth, twice in the fifth and five times in the sixth to take an 8-1 lead. Senior Keith Millen (Vernon, CT) had three RBI to lead ECSU, and sophomore Nick Tempesta (Brockton, MA) hit a seventh inning solo shot, his first of the season.
DuBois (6 innings, 10 hits, eight runs, five earned) took the loss for the Panthers to drop to 2-1 on the season. Senior Todd Steffanides (Fitchburg, MA) scored one run, on a fifth-inning double by Corey Mastin (Newmarket, NH), and knocked in another in the ninth on an infield grounder.
PSC is scheduled to play its home opener this Tuesday (Apr. 6) at Panther Field against non-conference opponent Castleton State (3:00 p.m.).